3 key nutrients to support your immune system

A healthy nutrient-rich diet is essential when we consider the function and resiliency of your immune system. However, there are many additional natural approaches available in our tool box for supporting immune health. 

Targeting the immune system during cold and flu season has the potential to help decrease the frequency, severity, or duration of cold and flu symptoms. 

Decreasing the risk of developing a cold or flu is possible through prophylactic supplementation of key supplements such as vitamins D, C and zinc. 

This is especially important in high-risk populations, such as in children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.

Vitamin D is absolutely critical to immune function. The optimal immune function requires a higher vitamin D status of between 60-100 ng/l. Because of this, many people now safely supplement between 2000-5000 IU of vitamin D daily, especially when they cannot be outdoors in the sun every day.

This vitamin plays a critical role in promoting immune response. It has both anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to decreased lung function, which may affect your body’s ability to fight respiratory infection.

Zinc is critical for proper immune function. Populations at risk for zinc deficiency are vegans, vegetarians and children. Infection exposure depletes zinc status, and repletion through appropriate supplementation can provide optimal support for healthy immune function. When given during the initial 24 hours of symptom onset, it has been shown to reduce the number of patients with symptoms after one week.

Vitamin C is critical for adequate antioxidant support. This vitamin supports both the production and function of white blood cells to help protect these cell types from oxidative damage. 

Research shows the importance of supplementing vitamin C to ensure an adequate supply when needed for many different reasons, not the least of which is healthy immune system function. 

Vitamin C has been shown to decrease the length of a cold and has the potential to decrease duration by approximately one day.

Stress management, physical activity, sleep, and dietary supplements may be used to help support immune system function. 

Please consult with your doctor to determine which supplements are best for your wellness plan. The physicians at Lakeside are here to help you make the appropriate decision for your care!

What to take away from this post: 

  • Most people do not get adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Supplementation of 2-5k IU’s a day is recommended ● Zinc plays a large role in immune function and deficiency rates run higher in vegans, vegetarians and children. ● Vitamin C supports both the production and function of white blood cells to help protect these cell types from oxidative damage.
  • Ask your Lakeside provider which supplements are right for you!

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